Harvey Norman committed to Northern Ireland but unlikely to open new stores before Brexit
Australian homewares and electronics giant Harvey Norman is on course to open five more stores in the Republic but has slammed the brakes on further expansion in Northern Ireland due to Brexit uncertainty.
The openings in the Republic will take place over the next few years as the retailer pitches for greater market share, and chips away at years of hefty losses here and down south.
The company currently operates 13 outlets in the Republic and has two stores in Northern Ireland.
Harvey Norman's chief executive in Ireland Blaine Callard said the brand is moving "rapidly to normal profitability" and described a network of 18 stores as "the sweet spot".
He said the chain is unlikely to open new stores here until there is some clarity about the extent of the UK's exit from the EU.
He claimed Brexit is weighing on the British high street and is creating a "handbrake on consumer spending" in Ireland and the UK.